Back to Work

by 5by5

Back to Work is an award winning talk show with Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussing productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more. Hosted by Merlin Mann & Dan Benjamin.

  

Latest Episodes

501: You're Sad Wrong

DISCUSSED: hey, it's an advice episode!; San Francisco has a lot of available office space; a musical unguent for your soul; a cool font that makes accessibility pretty; getting in front of your next wave of depression; the Emotional Police are here to cite you for your numerous infractions; and, finally, Merlin highly recommends a recent podcast episode about why we're all so exhausted and what we might want to do about it.


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Posted on 27 October 2020 | 7:30 pm


500: The Legacy of Guessing

DISCUSSED: Sending good vibes to The Dude; Merlin has a couple awesome app recommendations; some Follow-Up on the Apple Event, including what your hosts are ordering and what they're each excited about; which kinds of things your hosts do and do not find useful about the Apple Rumor Industrial Complex; Dan tries on a new iOS camera app; Merlin recommends a clever web cam app; some of our voice friends hear well, others understand well, and some sound good, but none (for now) do it all; finally, Dan finds some productivity insight, courtesy of The Buddha.


Audio Download

Posted on 20 October 2020 | 6:45 pm


499: Where the Boulder Lives

DISCUSSED: Merlin is reporting live from the show floor; Dan is due for a new phone; nostalgia for buying a carton of cigarettes; praise for Netflix's "Challenger" series; Merlin shares some updates on his big resource-leveling project; gotta find those big rocks, amirite; interruptions are the death of the tech person's day; remember, your work is part of your life—not separate from it.


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Posted on 13 October 2020 | 7:30 pm


498: Soviet Satellite Hair

DISCUSSED: Merlin craves an easy visit with Floyd; Spirit's lawsuit no longer winds on down the road; Question: what obligation does a company have to support their developer tools? And for how long exactly?; when are new film editions not "the good one?"; despite swearing not to do so, a popular service for monetizing indie content is, as they say, put on blast; lot of talk about business things; waiters shouldn't lie to people who used to be waiters; exciting developments in the Drafts ecosystem; and, finally, Merlin unleashes an old school stem-winder on taking a recent stab at resource-leveling—using technology!


Audio Download

Posted on 6 October 2020 | 6:45 pm


497: HBO Plus 98 XP for the Enterprise

DISCUSSED: the boys update one another on some very good media they're enjoying; everybody loves a movie with a big world; Merlin pitches Dan on the improbable magic of Ted Lasso; talk turns to some new features of Apple's recent OS updates; at length, Merlin makes a case for exploring the amazing new functionalities of widgets, complications, and especially the apps of Underscore David Smith; Guardian gets an exciting update and a pro plan; there's some talk of the challenge in finding a VPN that actually does what you think it's doing; it seems like the show is over, but then there's twelve minutes of movie talk with a focus on children and boobs; finally, Merlin kinda busts a gut about trying to run a Mr. Rogers on the kids you care about.


Audio Download

Posted on 29 September 2020 | 6:15 pm


496: The Costume Beej

DISCUSSED: Folks, this one is a doozy, and that's all I'm gonna say about that.


Audio Download

Posted on 22 September 2020 | 6:00 pm


495: Even the Mammals

DISCUSSED: Merlin is reporting live from the show floor; remember to photograph your kid's room; some bearded dragon updates; some thoughts on pets; Merlin's grandfather was a reluctant dog obsessive; Dan wants to read you a label; Merlin met a fellow cadet; check out Dan's videos; Merlin is loving iOS 14, especially the smarter Siri suggestions; speculation on how machines learn; your hosts still want Macs to be Macs; Big Sur notifications are basically a Bop It; are we getting diminishing returns from theoretical Mac improvements?; Dan has a really good analogy involving wrist watches; there's a reason normal people don't like their apps to change; Merlin puts review requests on blast; an edit button would still be nice; Merlin finds himself with an unusual opportunity to field test some disused home tech; and, finally, it is hoped that Frasier will leave of his own volition.


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Posted on 15 September 2020 | 7:30 pm


494: The Sucker’s Sort

DISCUSSED: California has no shortage of crises; Dan's got a brand new bag; thoughts on exercise as prophylactic medicine; extremely anecdotal data on the rise of fake ratings and reviews on Amazon; the return of "A cool thing I learned this week" brings some very neato apps, tips, and whatnot.


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Posted on 8 September 2020 | 6:30 pm


493: Flimsy, but Useful

DISCUSSED: Rabbit, rabbit!; Dan wants to be sedated; at some point, Merlin had most of the optimism bred out of him; a lot of problems and small beefs get overlooked for survival and sanity reasons right now; Dan shares listener recommendations for movies like the Missions Impossible; time was, you went to the weird video store and just hoped you got the good guy; Dan wants to remind you that he signed a letter of agreement—a CONTRACT; maybe it's time we abandon that increasingly meaningless term, "screen time"; Merlin thinks you can give a baby a name that's funny in only one way, but never in more than one way; every generation demonizes a new technology that they're sure will corrupt the youths; Dan has strong thoughts on the Indiana Jones trilogy (yes, there are exactly three and only three); no one is as persuasive as Sean Connery; Merlin made some movie lists; sometimes you get something that's "mostly for your kid" when it's totally not for your kid; Dan draws inspiration from Roald Dahl's work setup; this is probably a pretty good time to be risk-averse; a reminder that there are still always opportunities to improve how you operate; this leads to an examination of "desire paths" and learning from what your intuition and previous behaviors are trying to tell you; Merlin's Infrastructure Week is extended as he goes ham on speeding up his Mac; and, finally, Merlin discusses a useful Mac utility before putting it on blast.


Audio Download

Posted on 1 September 2020 | 7:00 pm